If you have been hoping perhaps Apple and Epic Games have been anywhere close to figuring out their differences, we’ve got some bad news for you. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers confirmed in the latest ruling that no, she’s not going to pressure Apple to host the game on iOS, which means you’ll be stuck to the myriad different platforms that support the game.
The judgment handed down on Friday, both grant and denies requests from Epic Games. Specifically, it grants the request that Apple is blocked from chopping off its developer account — which means, Apple isn’t allowed to maintain Epic from updating the Unreal Engine. This means the emergency injunction Epic obtained barring Apple from terminating its developer account is now permanent, so game developers working with the Unreal Engine no longer have to hold their breath.
In case you haven’t been keeping up, this whole mishegas is mainly a battle between the 2 major firms over the pile of money Apple accrues from its 30% pay cut of gaming purchases. Epic has claimed Apple is working towards an illegal monopoly since Epic has no other method of getting Fortnite on iOS. Judge Rogers factors out that “Epic Games cannot simply exclaim ‘monopoly’ to rewrite agreements giving itself a unilateral benefit.”
However, she doesn’t let Apple, which advanced several somewhat hyperbolic arguments to justify reducing off Epic’s developer account, off the hook either: “The Court is not persuaded by Apple’s exaggerated claims that Epic Games would insert hidden or malicious code into Unreal Engine or its products to damage the iOS platform. The record is devoid of any evidence to support such a finding or inference.”
As for Fortnite, the courts won’t grant Epic’s request for an injunction that may pressure Apple to place the game back on the App Store. It’s maintaining the same line it’s had this entire time, which is that Epic can get the game reinstated by itself any time by removing the payment option that began this whole mess in the first place. Judge Rogers expresses sympathy for players who are perhaps deprived of their favorite distraction, however, says that doesn’t outweigh the necessity for major firms to abide by their contracts:
The Court has empathy for Fortnite players regarding the continued unavailability of the game on the iOS platform. This isespecially so during these continued difficult times that is the COVID-19 pandemic era, where gaming and virtual worlds are each social and safe. However, there is significant public interest in requiring parties to stick to their contractual agreements or in resolving enterprise disputes by the conventional course.
Honestly, Judge Rogers is a real standout in this mess. She’s grasped what the big-picture effect of this lawsuit might be, regardless of which method it goes, and doesn’t sound like she’s struggling any foolishness on both party’s half. She identified how there’s a hole within the arguments the place there must be hard numbers about iOS users and Fortnite players, and, “Neither party adequately addresses these factual questions.” She also points out in the lawsuit that Epic’s antitrust allegations could have a major effect on the rest of the tech industry, which runs things much like how Apple does:
Indeed, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all function similar walled gardens or closed platform models as Apple, whereby the hardware, operating system, digital market, and IAPs are all unique to the platform owner. As such, a remaining choice must be better informed regarding the affect of the walled garden model given the potential for important and serious ramifications for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and their video game platforms.
She additionally reveals that one of many key pillars of Epic’s counterargument to that point is that Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft make little-to-no revenue on hardware and console sales, not like Apple — a distinction she says is without legal precedent. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know if this argument has legs.
If a jury trial does occur, it won’t be till next year. In the meantime, we still urge you to not purchase any of the costly iPhones with Fortnite put in which are still cropping up on eBay.
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